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Danemark : Defense minister alleges Russia is ready to attack hospitals, infrastructure and electrical supply

Police stand guard in Copenhagen

Denmark’s Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen has launched a series of wide-ranging and grave accusations against Moscow, saying that it presents a “direct, very frightening and serious threat” against his homeland.


Frederiksen was asked to expound on his brief in the first extensive interview since the 69-year-old was appointed to his post in November 2016. Instead, the politician, who previously served as minister of finance during two stints, spoke almost exclusively about Russia. “We need to make clear to ourselves in Denmark that we are in danger, and we need to act upon this”, the center-right politician told the Danish Berlingske newspaper. “State-supported Russian hacker groups are ready to attack hospitals, infrastructure and the electrical supply by breaking into computer systems and creating a mess of notices and treatments within the health system”, said Frederiksen, referring to a report published by the country’s intelligence agency last month, as well as conversations with other Western politicians and security officials. And why would Russia target civilian infrastructure in a small country with which it shares no border ? “To spread fear and insecurity among the population and paralyze our democracy”. "It’s a way to destabilize our countries and democracies in a very physical and tangible way, and this places an urgent demand on our resources to defend ourselves against such attacks”, said Frederiksen.

Claus Hjort Frederiksen

Frederiksen’s accusations echo those of US intelligence officials, who published a report last week, alleging (1) that Russia ordered hackers to meddle in the US election, specifically by releasing emails related to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied charges of interference.

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éditeur : Frank Brunner | ouverture : 11 novembre 2000 | reproduction autorisée en citant la source